Episcaphula (Tropidoscaphula) megalodacnoides Skelley, Leschen & Liu, 2021

Skelley, Paul E., Leschen, Richard A. B. & Liu, Zhenhua, 2021, New Australian Erotylinae with notes on Dacnini (Coleoptera: Cucujoidea Erotylidae), Zootaxa 4948 (3), pp. 363-380 : 376-379

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Episcaphula (Tropidoscaphula) megalodacnoides Skelley, Leschen & Liu

new species

Episcaphula (Tropidoscaphula) megalodacnoides Skelley, Leschen & Liu , new species

Figures 33–40 View FIGURES 33–40

Diagnosis. A member of Episcaphula (Tropidoscaphula) with characters as noted above. It is distinguished from other species by the following characters: pronotum solid black, elytra with two broad orange bands, lateral pronotal margin very broad, prosternum evenly convex with no hint of a keel, and being found in northwestern Australia. Other species of Tropidoscapha are found in Indonesia and differ by having one or more of the following contrasting characters: pronotum with color pattern, elytra with small spots or two to three narrow bands, lateral pronotal margin width less than length of antennomere 2, and prosternum with weak but distinct keel.

Description. Length 9.3–13.0 mm; width 4.1–5.6 mm. Body broadly elliptical, glossy. Color blackish brown to black except as follows ( Figs. 33–35 View FIGURES 33–40 ): each elytron has 2 broad orange bands; basal band touches base, jagged anteriorly and posteriorly, leaving two elongate black spots on humerus and lateral 1/3 of base, basal band touching lateral margin, not touching scutellar shield or sutural margin; postmedian band jagged anteriorly and posteriorly, touching lateral margin, directed posteriorly towards suture, not touching sutural margin; legs primarily orange, becoming black near joints.

Head feebly convex, elongate trapezoidal; clypeus and frons more coarsely punctate laterally, punctures less than half diameter of facet; supraocular striae present only for length of eye; occipital region of head coarsely punctate, punctures same size as facets; central area of frons and vertex finely punctate; lacking stridulatory files at base of head. Maxilla terminal palpomere cylindrical, acuminate to apex. Labium terminal palpomere narrow, slightly flattened, sensory apex elliptical. Mentum broadly pentagonal, width 3× length central plate transversely elliptical, gular braces present, bluntly rounded. Eye moderately prominent, facets of moderate size. Antenna slender, short, antennomeres not elongated, last three forming distinct club; relative length of each segment (base to apex) 3.5: 2.0: 2.9: 2.2: 2.0: 2.0: 1.9: 1.9: 2.9: 2.8: 1.4; third antennomere length 1.4× width, antennomeres 9–10 broadly crescent shaped, width 2.2× length; antennomere 11 subcircular, narrowed apically.

Pronotum transverse, trapezoidal, gently convex; lacking anterior and posterior marginal bead; surface near posterior margin with group of large, foveate punctures on each side of middle, puncture size 2–3× diameter of facet; lateral margin gently inwardly arcuate anteriorly; lateral marginal bead very broad, greatest width at middle slightly more than length of antennomere II, narrowest at base, hardly narrowing anteriorly; margin of posterior angle with two laterally set pores, one at angle slightly anterior; pore of anterior angle set at angle; pronotal disc finely, imperceptibly punctate. Scutellar shield pentagonal, with rounded sides and angles, impunctate. Elytra as wide as pronotum at base, weakly arcuate most of length, subparallel sided, widest at mid-length, at apical third arcuate to rounded apex; lateral border widely reflexed from basal 1/5 to apex; strial punctures not visible, surface imperceptibly punctate, smooth.

Prosternum convex medially, not keeled, with irregular transverse wrinkles, sparsely finely punctate; prosternal process widened apically, lateral border weakly arcuate, apical border shallowly sinuate, procoxal lines indistinct. Mesoventrite transverse, feebly convex, narrowing posteriorly, finely and sparsely punctate, lacking coxal lines. Metaventrite convex, finely and sparsely punctate, with fine discrimen, lacking coxal lines. Abdominal ventrites with distinct fine punctures; abdominal ventrite 1 lacking coxal lines.

Male with v-shaped notch on apical clypeal margin ( Fig. 36 View FIGURES 33–40 ); protarsomeres 1–3 width slightly more than length; genitalia ( Figs. 38–40 View FIGURES 33–40 ) with penis arched, length = 0.5× median strut length; internal sac with patches of microsetae; flagellum with small head, virga long and hair-like, gradually tapering entire length; parameres narrowing apically, with long dense setae; abdominal sternite IX broad, truncate, spiculum gastrale separated anteriorly by small sclerite. Female with straight apical clypeal margin; protarsomeres 1–3 width = length; genitalia ( Fig. 37 View FIGURES 33–40 ) with distinct long gonostyli apical; spermatheca elongate-oval; spermathecal gland and long twisted duct sclerotized.

Material examined. The male holotype of Episcaphula (Tropidoscaphula) megalodacnoides ( Figs. 33–36 View FIGURES 33–40 ) label data: “[white paper, printed] 11.09 S 132.09 E / Black Point / Coburg [sic] Pen. N. T. /..17 [number hand written] .. Feb. 1977 / R. Lewis ” // “[orange paper with camera symbol] ANIC / Image” // “[red paper, printed] HOLOTYPE ♂ / Episcaphula / (Tropidoscaphula) / megalodacnoides / Skelley, Leschen, Liu” ( ANIC) GoogleMaps .

Paratypes (21 total). AUSTRALIA: Northern Territory: same data as holotype (3 ♂♂, allotype ♀, 6 ♀♀, ANIC, FSCA) GoogleMaps ; Black Point , Cobourg, NT 11.09 S 132.09 E, 25 Jan. 1977, E.D. Edwards (1 ♀ ANIC) GoogleMaps ; same locality except, 30 Jan. 1977, E.D. Edwards (1 ♂ ANIC) GoogleMaps ; same locality except, 31 Jan. 1977, E.D. Edwards (1 ♀ ANIC) GoogleMaps ; same locality except, 2 Feb. 1977, E.D. Edwards (1 ♀ ANIC) GoogleMaps ; same locality except, 3 Feb. 1977, E.D. Edwards (1 ♀ ANIC) GoogleMaps ; Black Point, Coburg [sic] Pen. , 11.09 S 132.09 E, 8 Feb. 1977, R. Lewis (2 ♂♂ ANIC) GoogleMaps ; same locality except, 15-23 Feb. 1977 / T.A. Weir ” (3 ♀♀ ANIC) GoogleMaps . Western Australia: 10km NWbyN of Mining Camp / Mitchell Plat. , 14.45S 125.47E, 11-17 May 1983, DCF Rentz, J. Balderson, Stp. 15 (1 ♀ ANIC) GoogleMaps .

Etymology. The species name was selected because of the superficial appearance to some members of the genus Megalodacne Crotch with the suffix “- oides ” denoting likeness, “having the form of”.

Remarks. At a quick glance E. megalodacnoides appears to be a species of Megalodacne Crotch with a similar broad pronotal lateral margin and color pattern, differing in tarsal and other characters. Within Tropidoscaphula, the color pattern is similar to E. coralipennis Gorham, 1888 , which differs notably in having narrowed elytral bands, a thinner lateral pronotal marginal bead, and a weak but distinct anterior prosternal keel.


Australian National Insect Collection


Florida State Collection of Arthropods, The Museum of Entomology